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BibTeX is one of the many bibliography format styles used by the publishing, academic and commercial communities. BibTeX is arguably the only fully open standard in these markets. Economically the BibTeX format can be viewed as an interconnector between the different bibliography markets (between EndNote and ProCite, or Citation 7 or Papyrus or etc). Historically individual publishers, academic and commercial communities viewed their formats as proprietary, as their value added proposition, as their intellectual property. As each community adopted their own unique proprietary standard their markets grew, users became locked into using the proprietary formats for storing their data and subsequently incurred large switching costs (cost of conversion including loss of information) if they changed tool or published into different markets. Inevitably as communities grow and overlap the stupidity of proprietary formats for what is essentially the same sort of information becomes obvious. However the sponsor of each market has no interest in encouraging the adoption and use of bi-directional interconnectors (such as file conversion utilities) unless it results in the growth and expansion of their own market dominance.

An analysis of the EndNote product export/import functionality is that EndNote product feature development are uninterested in sponsoring bi-directional conversion of reference files between EndNote and BibTeX formats. It is argued that they percieve EndNote as the central element in an end-user's tool set for managing references, therefore it is fine to export a reference library into BibTeX format so that writers using Open Source tool sets (such as LaTeX? for example) can access their reference library stored in EndNote. But making this conversion uni-directional actively discourages end-users from forgoing the use of EndNote (presumably due to expense) and managing their references in the Open Source environment and merely exporting to enl (EndNote file format) when required.

A BibTeX reference entry in a plain-text file looks like this:

@Inproceedings{ISISICIS04a, author = {Anita Mangan and Séamas Kelly}, authorURLs = { and}, title = {Reinforcing Boundaries and Undermining Institutions: Information Systems and Strategic Change in the Irish Credit Union Movement}, year = {2004}, publisher = {ICIS 2004}, address = {Washington, D.C., USA} } Standard BibTeX entry types include the following: @article (an article from a journal or magazine)

@book (a book with an explicit publisher)

@inbook (a part of a book, which may be a chapter (or section or whatever) and/or a range of pages)

@inproceedings (an article in a conference proceedings)